Sunday, May 31, 2009

Confidence booster

This is really just a follow-up to the last post. Today I put in arguably my best workout of the year. 80+ miles on the bike and another 6+ running. I was pretty fast and feel reasonably good now. Of course I have about 2 hours of running tomorrow, which I guarantee will be sheer agony, but today I'm fairly content. A week ago I would not have thought I could perform this well.

Friday, May 29, 2009

The sun will come out tomorrow...

We made it through the week. It wasn't always pretty, far from perfect, but we made it. It was better than last week. I'm still a bit concerned about pulling it together for the Mooseman half iron in a week, and then Lake Placid; however, I feel better than I did at the beginning of the week. If I get through Monday and complete all my training, I'll feel back on track.
In an odd way the good news is that the lack of readiness is pretty much a mental thing. I had a lot of Best Effort workouts (hard repeats, short rest). They felt god awful, but I did them and did them pretty well. In fact my run today contained 4x800m repeats with 2:30 rest, and I actually negative split the whole workout: 2:40, 2:39, 2:37, 2:36. There was also a 400m kicker at the end run in 1:11. And all that was done with zero on the adrenaline meter. I actually was uncomfortable bordering on miserable the whole time. Between family health issues and work stress, I had nothing in the tank. And still I pulled off quality workouts everyday this week. Despite my physical discomfort as I sit here, I'm pretty content. I wasn't sure if I had enough left upstairs to push myself through these. Turns out I did.

On another note I'm torn about what to do with regards to my employee who resigned this week. It's not a "should I see if we can counter offer" thing; I'm fundamentally opposed to that. Sets a bad precedent. Rather I'm wondering if I should tell him what I really think. You see I really think he's making a big mistake. He's so focused on some objectionable things in his current role, that he isn't properly appreciating what he's about to get in his new job. Sure it sounds egotistical, but he's taking a real downgrade in manager, at least from the standpoint of how much I can offer him in mentoring and career development as opposed to his new manager. However, I'm leaning away from actually telling him because I fear it would be like "drunk dialing." And anyway, I'm not about to offer him something new (even if I could). He's welcome back if there is a job, but he needs to figure out what he wants out of his professional life himself.

Monday, May 25, 2009

Things to encourage insonmia

Strenuous physical activity at night - check!
Caffeinated gel packet - check!
Working on a computer - check!
I think all I'm missing is renting porn on pay-per-view!

I'm sitting here stuffing my face with tortilla chips and drinking a beer after a couple hours of trainer riding. I need some decompression time from the last few days. Without going into details I wound up with the family down in CT (unscheduled trip) for the long weekend...WITHOUT my bike! Circumstances being what they were, I'd do it again but that doesn't make the anxiety go away.

Each racing year seems to have a theme to it, be it long training miles in crap weather, recurring injuries, motivation (or lack there of), etc... This year the theme is "oh so close!" I've seen enough to know I've got potentially good form this year. I'm past wondering if I can be good. I can be good. But you know, potential doesn't get you to Kona. If I can't get the consistent hours of training in, it just isn't going to happen.

Ah training...it seems so disjointed right now. Amazingly I'm getting the majority of my work in, but there really doesn't seem to be a real flow to it. I don't feel like I'm building towards anything. It's not the plan; the plan has plenty of flow. It's me and my life. I've never been so close to giving up on as I am now; the irony of course is that I've never been as good as I am now. It's because I know I'm good, I will not be satisfied with merely showing up and enjoying the day in Lake Placid. I want to be able to race it well, and that means preparing properly. Because proper preparation seems hard to basically impossible for a while, I've been contemplating punting which is really a tough decision.

Decisions are easy. Living with them...that's the hard part.

Kona has been a goal for me ever since I first watched Ironman in the early 80s. To be so close...well let's just say it's the final piece that is keeping me training. It's tough to give up on a life goal. It could set a very dangerous precedent. So instead I did my best to get in my ride time (a day late by the way) by climbing on my trainer and sucking down my caffeinated gel, the only kind I own. Not the same as being on the road, but actually this weekend it was the safer alternative anyway. I expect to be up early tomorrow getting in the last hour of missed volume from the weekend, and then on to an abbreviated rest day.

One day at a time.

Wednesday, May 13, 2009

Getting hyper

I've come to realize I've got a lot going on. Some good, some not so much, but in general I shouldn't complain...but that doesn't mean I won't! Because the weather is warmer and the days are longer I'm starting to get a little hyper about my readiness for Lake Placid. This year has been frustrating because every time I seem to really step up a notch I get sick. I have been bouncing back reasonably well, but that's a lot of snot coming out in the last 4 1/2 months or so. I'm just now getting over illness #4, and had a nice solid workout today, so things are improving.

At the same time I'm starting a project at work which has the potential to be transformational, at least for me. I'm working on a new approach to reviewing data gathered on preterm babies and their mothers, including DNA data, to try and determine causes for preterm birth (click here). The work on the project will contribute to a major grant proposal, which it sounds like a section of which I will also be writing. It's a whole new professional adventure for me and the first time I've been really excited about work in years. There are plenty of challenges ahead, but of everything I've ever done this has that "life's work" feeling to it.

But then there's still my regular management job which is really starting to suck. I have a dud employee and it's really damaging the team morale. Higher ed doesn't do quick terminations. I wish I were back at APC for this one. The problem would have been solved months ago.

And did I mention I've been married 15yrs at the end of this month? Leanna and I are actually escaping for a few days this weekend to celebrate. Between you and me I think it's her way of working me for extra gifts; one this weekend and one on the actual day! ;-) Hey, in all seriousness though, she deserves that and more.

So now I'm hyper because there's so much going on, and when I get that way other things happen, most notably being irritated by meaningless things. After reading something online I now feel the need to open up the whoop on the 40-44 year olds at Mooseman in a few weeks to clearly announce my intentions to go for a Kona spot in Lake Placid as well. Sure my life is busy and whacky and yes, I can only manage peak training weeks of about 14hrs. And I ride a K-Mart bike. But I've earned this one...my family has earned this one by putting up with me!

Friday, May 08, 2009

Missed posts like missed workouts...

...stack up in a hurry. There's plenty to write about, but it just hasn't been happening lately.
Mostly the Kehm household has been in some minor disarray since our trip to NYC 2 weeks ago. Long story short we've had to deal with yet another bout of whole family health issues here. Nothing big, but it is getting tiresome. Rather than try an work through it this time, I just shut it down for most of this week. Just taking my medicine, so to speak, in the hopes of getting back on track this weekend. I'm trying to avoid another prolonged health situation like Feb./Mar. For the record, no cases of swine flu here, but that doesn't mean the RI Dept of Health didn't get involved. I'll fill you in on those details at another time or in person.
In the midst of all this has come a big po0sitive on the work front. It appears to be a potentially life defining (in a professional way) chance. I'm not going to attempt to write the details here, but let's just say I'm taking a crash course in genomics, proteomics, and bioinformatics.

I'll write more soon. Now it's back to riding the trainer.